Monday, 26 October 2015

Kuala Lumpur Restaurant, Carnegie


I received some restaurant vouchers from Zomato a while ago and one of those vouchers was for the Kuala Lumpur Restaurant in Carnegie. In case you don’t already know, Urbanspoon was taken over by Zomato and has a range of new features for Melbourne foodies... Anyway, Koornang Road has an abundance of Asian eateries but the Kuala Lumpur Restaurant has been around for nearly a couple of decades. They must be serving some decent Malaysian fare to survive so much competition! You can see for yourself by popping into the Kuala Lumpur Restaurant for a Malaysian feast next time you are in the area...

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Farm Cafe, Abbotsford


My great-great-grandmother worked in the Abbotsford Convent kitchen for the nuns briefly at the end of her life. Of course, that was quite some time ago... Now, there are artists’ studios and eateries where you can grab some baked goods, some lentils... Well, if you stroll (or cycle) just down the bike path you will find the Collingwood Children’s Farm and The Farm Cafe. Locals, cyclists and families all congregate at The Farm Cafe for some mighty good fare. You don’t have to visit the farm to be able to go to the café, just enter via the bike path... The café is open air but undercover. We were there on a very warm and windy day where I eventually gave up trying to keep my hat on... It can get busy on the weekend but they give you a beeper that alerts you when your table is ready. After your lunch, you can visit the farm, cycle off along the picturesque bike paths, or laze around on the lawns of the grand Convent.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Weatherson Foods, Canterbury


Weatherson Foods in Maling Road is the perfect place to take your grandparents. Customers are treated like royalty at Weatherson’s and it has a lovely, homely vibe. I take my grandparents out once a week to do their errands like their shopping, visiting the library, and attending health appointments. This of course leads to a lunch out where we can take a break and catch up on the gossip of the week. I’ve taken them to Weatherson’s before but not for a long time so I thought we should make a return visit. They have another cafe in Kew too. Weatherson’s also have prepared meals to take home for you and your family when you don’t have time to cook them a healthy dinner.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Aunt Billies Cafe, Blackburn


Hallelujah! I’ve found the happy place! A glorious place full of sunbeams, delicious food, and good company... Aunt Billies Cafe in Blackburn is attached to the front of the One Community Church in Surrey Road. Yellow accents make the interior very bright and joyous. Yellow flowers, light fittings, awnings, and even the coffee machine! It makes a great alternative to the regular, dreary interiors that cafés often favour. It is a wonderful place to take your family and get a boost of happiness. Also, if you have a big appetite, the servings at Aunt Billies are enormous!

Weekend Away - Ballarat Part 2


We sat down for some afternoon tea at Larder in Daylesford. The breakfast/lunch menu looked very tempting so I am keen to return for a meal next time I’m in Daylesford for a romantic weekend away... After such a massive toastie lunch, we didn’t feel like a cake so we just ordered some Slow Tea Co. teas ($3.70) which are based right here in Daylesford. My travelling companion picked the ‘English Breakfast’ whilst I chose the ‘Green Tea & Jasmine’. My tea was so aromatic and flavoursome... the perfume of jasmine was intoxicating. The service was also excellent at Larder.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

CRU, Kew


A balmy summer’s night in the courtyard at CRU... Sipping a glass of prosecco with your tall, dark and handsome boyfriend... Sounds like the perfect night to me! Well, this is something you can do too... After your drinks, you can follow that up with dinner at CRU. But if breakfast or lunch is what you prefer then CRU does that too. On this occasion, it was a lovely sunny day so we thought we would have lunch in the courtyard out the back. If the weather is not so warm, then you can find a spot inside for a coffee and a chat. CRU would also be a great place to have your next party. Christmas is just around the corner...







WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
·        Blueberry and Ricotta Hotcakes – vanilla and lavender ice-cream, salted caramel honeycomb ($16.00)
·        Crab Sliders – crispy soft shell crab, wombok slaw, lime mayo on brioche bun x 2 ($19.00)
·        Chicken Slaw Salad – Vietnamese herbs, bean shoots, carrot, salted chilli praline ($20.00) *gluten-free
·        Panna Cotta – toasted granola, whole nuts and grains, buffalo yoghurt, raspberry compote ($12.00) *gluten-free


WHAT WE ATE...
I was debating between the Hotcakes and the Shakshuka but was craving something savoury so the Shakshuka won. The ‘Shakshuka – two eggs in San Marzano tomato sugo, sweet capsicum, basil, chilli, grilled sourdough ($16.00)’ tasted delicious with the rich tomato sugo, the freshness from the basil, and the smokiness of the charred bread. However, I was expecting the tomatoes to be baked in the sugo but instead there were a couple of fried eggs with solid yolks. That was disappointing as dipping your bread into the runny baked eggs is the best part. Also, there was no heat from the chilli whatsoever...

Shakshuka




My dining companion picked the ‘Mushroom Bruschetta – king browns, shimeji, pine and enoki mushrooms, ricotta, truffle oil on olive sourdough ($16.00)’. This was a most enjoyable dish with a generous amount of mushrooms. The piquancy of the olives in the sourdough added an extra dimension to the creaminess of the ricotta.

Mushroom Bruschetta

WHAT WE DRANK...
If you are after a refreshing, cool drink then the ‘Phlavours of Pho Juice – lemon, Vietnamese mint, apple, pineapple, cucumber and fennel ($8.00)’ might be just your thing. My latte ($3.80) was lovely.  

Lattes

SERVICE...
Service was efficient and helpful and the fact that you can also pay in the courtyard is very handy indeed. 




Address: 916 Glenferrie Road, Kew, Melbourne, VIC

Phone: 03 9818 4366




Trading Hours:
Mon: 7.00am - 4.30pm
Tues - Fri: 7.00am - late
Sat: 8.00am - late
Sun: 8.00am - 4.30pm

Cru Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



P.S. Other eateries nearby are Percy’s Aeroplane, Adeney Milk Bar and Ora...



Friday, 16 October 2015

Weekend Away - Ballarat Part 1

Craig's Royal Hotel

Last weekend, we enjoyed a night of elegance staying at Craig’s Royal Hotel in Ballarat and visited the Art Gallery of Ballarat to see the Archibald Prize 2015.


We arrived in Trentham at noon so thought we would try the Trentham Collective for lunch. It is located smack in the middle of this pretty town, inside the old bank building. The menu is made up of mostly burgers and toasties. I decided to have ‘The Chook Upstairs Toastie with tender chicken, avocado, Barfold garlic infused oil, egg mayonnaise and lime ($14.00)’. This was indeed a big toastie! The golden, crunchy bread encased the oozing filling that tasted fabulous. The garlic oil was not overpowering.

The Chook Upstairs Toastie

My travelling companion chose the ‘Trentham Toastie with Bundarra Berkshire’s smoked ham, cheese, organic tomato, organic onion, housemade relish and mustard ($14.00)’.

Trentham Toastie



We also ordered a couple of lattes made with Brewhouse Coffee Roasters from Bendigo.

Latte




Address: 37A High Street, Trentham, VIC

Phone: 0497 253 252





Trading Hours:
Mon: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Tue –Thur: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Sat – Sun: 9.00am – 4.00pm

Trentham Collective Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



After Trentham, we stretched our legs in Daylesford. I collect all things Art Nouveau and Art Deco so I was very excited when I found this amazing shop in Daylesford. Art Deco has furniture, lighting, posters, decorative arts, jewellery, and vintage clothing but I was drawn to a gorgeous green necklace. I tried to take my eyes away from the necklace but it had me under its spell... We were lucky enough to have a tour of their clothing collection. There was a rare flapper dress with beautiful beading detail. Also, a delicate dress that was made for the movies as inside was a Paramount Studios stamp and the name Harriette Haddon, a movie actress from the 30’s and 40’s. Vintage lovers should check this shop out next time you are in Daylesford...
  


Address: 3/27 Vincent Street, Daylesford, VIC

Phone: 0407 321 865


  


Weekend Away – Ballarat Part 2 coming soon...


Friday, 9 October 2015

Alleycat Cafe, Canterbury


If I’m looking for a serene place to chat with friends over a coffee in Maling Road I usually stop by the Alleycat Cafe in Theatre Place. The food and coffee are delicious and the prices are very reasonable. Sitting out in Theatre Place under the trees is very tranquil and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. On the weekend, you can feel like a Parisian and enjoy some freshly prepared crepes and the kids will enjoy watching them being created... as well as consuming them! The Alleycat Cafe also hosts events and gluten free food can be provided if required.







WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
·        Alleycat Tart with breakfast egg, bacon, mushroom, and onion tart in a pot ($8.90)
·        Brie and Tomato Croissant ($7.50)
·        Salted caramel crepe ($7.00)
·        White chocolate with raspberry coulis crepe ($9.90)


WHAT WE ATE...
I thought I would try out their crepes today. I decided to have the ‘Strawberry, cream and meringue crumble crepe served with St. David Dairy Cream ($9.90)’. Yum, yum, and yum! The juicy, rosy strawberries, crisp meringue and luscious cream created a scrumptious concoction. I think that this is my new favourite Alleycat dish now...

Crepe


My dining companion picked the ‘Spinach and pine nut quiche ($7.90)’. I have this quiche quite often and it is very tasty. The pastry is flaky and the filling has the right amount of sharp cheese and a generous serving of pine nuts.

Quiche


WHAT WE DRANK...
My latte ($3.80) using Padre Coffee’s Daddy’s Girl Blend and St David Dairy was delightful.

Latte



Cappuccino

SERVICE...
The service is friendly but can be a bit all over the place. Sometimes you get table service and other times you order at the counter. Sometimes we have received the wrong meal or been overcharged and undercharged. If they could just manage to make the service refined and consistent, then this cafe would be perfect. Menus and water when seated would also be ideal. 




Address: 8 Theatre Place, Canterbury, VIC

Phone: 0417 002 403




Trading Hours:
Mon – Sun: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Alleycat Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


P.S. Other eateries nearby are Bohemia Cakes, The Maling Room, Bambaleros, and BetweenUs...


Monday, 5 October 2015

Dumpling Kitchen, Blackburn South


Whenever I have a yearning for dumplings, I head straight to the Dumpling Kitchen in Blackburn. I’ve experienced a lot of dumplings around Melbourne but this place can’t be beaten for quality, cleanliness and price. Plus, taste... Ms Shi creates magnificent dumplings and is an experienced cook from Northern China. The Dumpling Kitchen is a perfect place to catch up with friends or family and the kids will love trying the different dumplings. Also, all the dumplings are free of MSG. After your dumpling feast, you should probably pick up some frozen dumplings to take home with you... You just never know when another case of extreme dumpling desire will hit you...








WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
·        Pan Fried Taro Pancake ($5.50)
·        Spring Onion Pancake ($5.50)
·        Xiao Long Bao ($9.80) x 10
·        Seafood Fried Noodles with XO Sauce ($12.00)
·        Salt and Pepper Bean Curd ($12.80)


WHAT WE ATE...
On this occasion, we ordered a couple of plates of dumplings. First to arrive was the ‘Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings ($9.50) x 18’. I always order these as I absolutely adore these dumplings! I’ve eaten vegetarian dumplings at fine dining Chinese restaurants in the past but they have been nowhere near as good as these. See all the different ingredients inside? The dumpling skins are also the ideal texture and thickness.   




Next up were the ‘Prawn and Pork Won Tons in Spicy Sauce ($9.50) x 12’. I haven’t had these before but they will definitely be added to my favourites list at the Dumpling Kitchen. They were just so silky! The spicy sauce had just the right amount of heat. I must stop thinking about them as I may have to pop over to the Dumpling Kitchen right now...





WHAT WE DRANK...
The restaurant is BYO. We enjoyed some complimentary tea.



SERVICE...
The service was very attentive and food was quick to arrive so we were able to sate our dumpling cravings not long after ordering. 



Address: 144A Canterbury Road, Blackburn South, VIC

Phone: 03 8838 0553



Trading Hours:
Tues – Sun: 11.00am – 3.00pm, 5.00pm – 9.00pm

Dumpling Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


P.S. Other eateries nearby are Charlotte’s Corner and Gourmet Girl...




Friday, 2 October 2015

Xocolatl, Canterbury


I’ve been pronouncing Xocolatl incorrectly for years now. The correct pronunciation is ‘Sho-ko-la-tl’. The Partsioglou family’s love of chocolate is clearly evident at their Melbourne cafés where they combine tradition and innovation to create their products. I frequent their Canterbury establishment but they have another retail outlet in Kew East. Don’t forget to look up when you visit to admire their beautiful ornate roof and chandelier. 



Xocolatl is a perfect place to have morning or afternoon tea with some of their chocolates. They have an enticing hot chocolate menu made with Belgian dark couverture. Because I love to keep my life spicy, my favourite is the Chilli Hot Chocolate which is infused with Mexican chilli. Afterwards, purchase a ‘Passionfruit block of chocolate made with Venezuelan single origin couverture ($9.95)’ to take home and share with your family. Well, maybe you should buy two...













WHAT WE DRANK...
Our lattes ($3.70) made with Five Senses Coffee were extremely luscious and delightful.  

Latte

SERVICE...
Everyone I have encountered at Xocolatl has been very friendly and knowledgeable about the products.  




Address: 123 Maling Road, Canterbury, VIC

Phone: 03 9836 3100





Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Sat: 9.00am – 5.30pm
Sat: 10.00am – 5.30pm

Xocolatl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



P.S. Other eateries nearby are Bohemia CakesThe Maling RoomBambaleros, and BetweenUs...



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ripe Cafe, Sassafras


When I visit Ripe Cafe in Sassafras, I always say ‘Hi Pop’ because when he used to come over from England to stay he would want to dine at Ripe all the time. Now that he has passed away, I definitely feel that this is one of the places he would be ‘dropping by’ to relive happy memories. He would always order the ham and cheddar baguette and maybe a slice of lemon tart as he was known for his spectacular lemon curd recipe. Ripe is located just down from Miss Marple’s. Sitting in front of the open fireplace in the winter is the place to be but in the summer a table on the rear deck is fantastic. They take bookings which I strongly suggest doing, especially on the weekends! On the way out, you can buy some excellent products that are made in the Yarra Valley to take home.












WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
·        Semolina and Vanilla Bean Porridge served with poached apple, stone fruit and berries sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds ($12.50)
·        Tuscan Terrine Baguette – layers of basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto and cream cheese ($10.00)
·        Olive tapenade, marinated artichoke and goat’s cheese baguette ($10.00)
·        Linguini Marinara with fresh mussels and pippies, prawns, scallops and calamari tossed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs ($22.00)


WHAT WE ATE...
The lunch menu changes daily with most items priced at $22.00. They also have an amazing ‘Baguette Menu’ too. I picked my favourite baguette, the ‘Smoked Salmon, homemade mayonnaise and capers baguette ($10.50)’. The baguettes are big so if you have a small appetite, then I suggest sharing with a friend. Quality ingredients make their baguettes a delight to eat. They add lots of capers too which I love with smoked salmon.

Smoked Salmon Baguette

My dining companion chose the ‘Cranberry, chilli and plum relish, free range chicken breast and brie baguette ($10.50)’. This was also delectable with the addition of the cranberry, chilli and plum relish enhancing the other ingredients.

Chicken and Brie Baguette

We decided to share a cake afterwards. For dinner parties, I often make a cheesecake for dessert as you can make it ahead of time. If you have been to one of my dinner parties, you have probably finished the night with my reliable Black Forest Cheesecake... Anyway, if I get a craving for a slice of cheesecake I know that Ripe have some scrumptious, freshly made cheesecakes to choose from. On this occasion we went with the ‘Sour cherry Cheesecake ($7.50)’. The cake arrived with real cream which is an absolute must! Again, this was a brilliant cheesecake.

Sour Cherry Cheesecake




WHAT WE DRANK...
I love their ‘White Chocolate Lindt Hot Chocolate ($5.00)’. There is also milk and dark chocolate too if that is more your thing... A great coffee is few and far between in the Dandenongs. However, my latte ($3.80) at Ripe has been consistently wonderful.   

Lattes

SERVICE...
The service has improved so much over the last year or so. It used to take ages for someone to take your order but now it is running like a well-oiled machine. 



Address: 376-378 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras, VIC

Phone: 03 9755 2100



Trading Hours:
Mon – Sun: 8.00am – 5.00pm

Ripe - Australian Produce Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato






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